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May 10, 2024
Parliamentarians of the Americas and the Caribbean adopt a declaration to safeguard democracy and promote human rights

More than 50 parliamentarians from 20 countries in the Americas and the Caribbean adopted a declaration in defense of democracy and human rights during the 20th Plenary Assembly of ParlAmericas and the 8th Gathering of the Open Parliament Network. The joint meeting, organized by ParlAmericas and the Senate of the Congress of the Republic of Paraguay, took place from May 8-10, 2024, in Asunción, under the theme Building Partnerships to Strengthen Democracy and Promote Human Rights.

The declaration reflects the outcomes from the dialogues and working sessions held during the meeting. It highlights the commitment of parliamentarians from the Americas and the Caribbean to democracy, human rights, gender equality, and the rule of law. Additionally, the declaration includes a series of commitments for parliamentary action in response to the growing challenges faced by democracy and human rights and underscores the role of parliaments in safeguarding democratic principles, promoting cooperative political dialogue, consensus-building, peaceful resolution of differences, and the maintenance of peace and security.

During the Plenary Assembly, elections were held for vacant subregional seats on the ParlAmericas Board of Directors. Chile and Peru were elected as representatives for South America; Panama, Guatemala and Belize as representatives for Central America; and Saint Lucia and Dominica as representatives for the Caribbean. In addition, for the Executive Committee of the ParlAmericas Open Parliament Network, Member of the National Assembly Luzmila Abad (Ecuador) was elected Second Vice-President for South America, and the Honorable Leo Cato (Grenada), Speaker of the House of Representatives, was elected Vice-President for the Caribbean.

Senator Blanca Ovelar (Paraguay), President of ParlAmericas and Host of the Gathering:

“As our dialogues over the past few days have demonstrated, substantive participation by legislators in hemispheric decision-making spaces is essential for strengthening our democracies, defending and promoting human rights, contributing to peacekeeping efforts, and building consensus—central principles of the Inter-American System.”